Though it may barely register on these shores, Saturday Night Live is an American institution that has spawned some of the most popular comedians in the world. SNL alumni include Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Billy Crystal, Mike Myers, Will Ferrell, Bill Murray and many more. Skits on the show have been expanded into hit movies like Wayne’s World and The Blues Brothers, and so while the word MacGruber may not mean much to us, the release of this latest spin-off will be a big hit on the other side of the Atlantic, and deserves to be one here too.
Taccone takes his cues from the bloated Stallone/Schwarzenegger/Segal action epics of the 1980s and as a result the film flows from one ludicrous set piece to another but never loses its way. Val Kilmer and Powers Boothe are both superb as super villain Dieter Von Cunth and MacGruber’s mentor Colonel James Faith respectively, and with more than 6(!) current professional wrestlers making up the cast this is probably one for Ingmar Bergman fans to avoid. MacGruber is trashy, tasteless, but thoroughly entertaining. Those seeking a respite from the World Cup should check it out.
Director: Jorma Taccone
Starring: Kristen Wiig, Will Forte, Val Kilmer, Ryan Phillippe, Powers Boothe, Maya Rudolph
Runtime: 98 minutes
Release date: 18th June 2010
Taking a 90 second recurring segment from a comedy show and turning it into a 90-minute film sounds like a bad idea, so all credit must go to director and co-writer Jorma Taccone for being able to make something so slight this enjoyable. For the uninitiated MacGruber is a bombs disposal expert who in true MacGyver fashion can take seemingly any object (and I mean anything) and jury-rig some fantastic device to save the day. Distraught over the death of his fiancé, the film begins with him seeking solace in a South American monastery but the theft of a nuclear warhead forces this mulleted-action hero back into the arena.